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The 9 Best Men’s Hiking Sandals To Hit The Trails

Best Hiking Sandals 00 Hero
Photo: Hoka One One Hopara

We can all agree that there’s nothing quite like a good hiking boot. However, when the summer sun starts to rise and we seek to wear something that won’t trap that heat, total foot enclosures may not be the most desirable option. That’s where the more open design of hiking sandals comes in. What may seem like an odd choice at first, this age-old style of footwear has been worn by man for 10,000 years. Predating the laced shoe by around two millennia, sandals were the optimal choice for early humans simply because of how easily they could target points for strap support and how breezy they were. Not much has changed since then, except for technological advancements that have made outdoor sandals today better than ever.

Of course, no two pairs of feet are the same, so choosing the best sandals comes down to what’s best for your own situation. Here, we’ve made it a little easier by compiling a list of the best pairs of hiking sandals out there, based on criteria such as comfort, traction, durability, and support.

Best Hiking Sandals Breakdown

Why Wear a Sandal for Hiking?

It’s a fair question to ask, since a shoe or boot may seem to provide better support. While not for everyone (i.e. people with ankle issues might want to stick with shoes), sandals offer a great way of evading a sweat-soaked sock or traversing through low rivers and streams without needing to wait for your shoes to dry off before using them again.

Sandals are also significantly easier to clean and more versatile than boots. If your feet are up to it, you can do essentially anything in a sandal that you can in enclosed footwear.

Nike ACG Air Deschutz+

Nike ACG Air Deschutz
  • Fantastic silhouette
  • Can be wornt outside of hiking
  • Comfortable
  • Low lugs won’t dig in as much in certain conditions

Most Stylish: Debuting in 1989, Nike’s cult-favorite ACG label has blended the worlds of outdoor gear and streetwear seamlessly. Inspired by the Oregon wilderness, where it was tested, this Air Deschutz+ sandal looks as good as it performs, with a retro ’90s aesthetic and built with wind- and waterproof materials to take you as far as you need to go. The sticky rubber outsole lets you traverse wet terrain while the Air heel offers supreme comfortability. Available in seven charming color schemes to cover you from the woods to the city streets, these sandals are not only budget-friendly, but they’re an unmatched bargain.

Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV Sandals

  • Great stability
  • Significantly lighter than average sports sandals
  • Made from recycled water bottles
  • Barefoot feel takes some getting used to
  • Insoles can get slippery when wet

Best Zero Drop: For those who want a lightweight option without sacrificing any comfort or support, Xero Shoes’ Z-Trail EV Sandals are your best bet. The dual-chevron tread and multipoint adjustment allow you to be locked in place when going uphill or downhill. Utilizing triple-layer FeelLite rubber outsoles, these sandals boast 76% less weight and bulk than your average sport sandals at just under 11oz, and yet the BareFoam footbeds offer a surprising amount of sturdiness. Made so your feet move in a natural way, the flexible Z-Trails are also constructed from recycled water bottles.

Chaco Z/Cloud 2

  • Highly-customizable fit
  • 3mm lugs are great for traction
  • Hugs foot well
  • A bit wide for narrow feet
  • Used to feature Vibram soles (still available through custom shop)

Best for Speed Hiking: An update on Chaco’s flagship hiking sandal, the Z/Cloud 2 has the additional toe loop this time around for added forefoot control to better traverse any condition. Still constructed using polyester jacquard webbing uppers and an injection-molded ladder lock buckle to help you better customize your fit, these hikers are also as comfortable as ever thanks to the LUVSEAT dual-density PU midsoles that allow them to live up to their namesake. To help you dig into the trails, the 3-mm lug depth on the outsoles offers unbelievable traction.

Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal Leather

  • Super sturdy webbing
  • Works great on multiple terrains
  • Molds to feet the more you hike
  • May be too stiff for some users

Best for Long Treks: Since 1984, Teva has made a name for itself as an amazing outdoor brand, especially when it comes to footwear, and it helped to pioneer the sports sandal all those years ago. Made for multi-day adventures, the Terra Fi 5 can withstand the long haul, crafted from a tannery-sourced leather that ensures a small-batch feel with a sturdiness and moldability that’s simply top-tier. The spider rubber outsoles help you take on the slipperiest paths and the PU midsole cushioning molds to your feet without giving way as your hike progresses. The Terra Fi 5 is simply one of the best outdoor sandals out there, which is what we’ve come to expect from Teva.

Bedrock Cairn 3D Pro Adventure Sandals

  • Very adjustable, especially for a flip-flop
  • Surprisingly great tread
  • Straps could be softer against skin

Best Flip-Flop: It’s hard to find a sandal that can anatomically mold to the bottom of your feet while still maintaining a 0-mm heel-to-toe drop. However, Bedrock has been perfecting the craft for over a decade with its Cairn 3D Pro Adventure Sandals. Featuring sole-hugger wings and sticky Vibram Megagrip on the soles, these minimalist shoes ensure a rugged, yet lightweight tour of the outdoors. The unique triple-adjustment straps (patent pending) and sturdy arch support keep you going for hikes both big and small.

Merrell Speed Fusion Convert 1TRL

Merrell Speed Fusion Convert 1TRL
  • Top of foot is well protected
  • Sturdiest option here
  • Lycra adds flexibility
  • Really comfy
  • N/A

Best Overall: With Merrell hiking boots being as ubiquitous out on the trail as any piece of footwear, you know its sandal will be just as revered. Managing to strike a level of premium quality at a fair price, the Speed Fusion Convert 1TRL features a sturdy upper made from mesh and full-grain leather and lined with Lycra fabric for some flexibility. You can also adjust these on the fly with the quick hook-and-loop closure system. And if you’re looking to be eco-conscious when heading into the wilderness, these sandals feature laces and webbing made from 100% recycled material, with even more in the EVA midsole flecks and Vibram Ecostep Recycle rubber outsole.

Luna Retro Mono 2.0

  • Weighs just 5.9oz
  • Really great tread/grip
  • Climbing-grade webbing features unique adjustment
  • Great for around the house as well
  • Some may still prefer over-toe options

Best Lightweight: Made to order in Wenatchee, Washington, the Luna Retro Mono 2.0 revamps a beloved classic. Minimalist and lightweight at only 5.9oz, yet unbelievably sturdy, these sandals are designed to be your go-to piece of footwear whether you’re lounging at home or going for a weekend hike. The Mono 2.0 has an incredibly flexible outsole to match its Vibram Morflex tread underneath to help you grip any surface, and each point of adjustability stems from one continuous lace of climbing-grade webbing for ultra customization. The footbed is built with Luna’s own Monkey Grip Technology and form-fits to your foot over time for unmatched personalization.

Keen Clearwater CNX

KEEN Clearwater CNX
  • Really roomy and breathable
  • Lacing system easy to adjust on the fly
  • Fantastic traction underneath
  • Runs small
  • Takes some time to break in

Best Enclosed Sandal: Some hikers want a little more toe protection in their footwear. That’s where Keen’s Clearwater CNX sandals come in. Made to be both a hiking sandal and a water sandal, this hybrid is roomy and breathable without sacrificing the true spirit of a traditional sandal. Sporting a washable polyester webbing upper and a lace-lock bungee system for added comfort and sturdiness, the Clearwater CNX is more open-aired than the brand’s Rialto line, with wider cutouts on the side and extra space in front to spread out the toes. The tread on the bottom features a multi-directional lug pattern with tire-like razor siping for ultimate traction.

​​Hoka One One Hopara Multisport Sandals

  • Uppers designed for water runoff
  • Same superior comfort to expect from HOKA
  • Bungee laces can be tucked away
  • Heavy

Best for the Rain: Another toe-guarded model that provides total safety and security on the trails, the Hoka Hopara Multisport possesses versatile functionality no matter the situation. Built with strategically-placed cutouts for easier drainage and ridged uppers for better water runoff, these sandals are optimal for wet conditions. The low-profile footbed is cushioned and comfortable, yet firm and responsive enough to provide sufficient support when pushing off. Additionally, the bungee laces can be cinched up quickly and stored away so you don’t have to worry about them throughout the day.

The Best Summer Hiking Gear Essentials

Photo: YETI Hopper M20 Cooler Backpack

If you’re heading outdoors this summer and are looking to outfit yourself with the best gear possible, then check out our guide to the best summer hiking gear essentials.